Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Camargo Guarnieri, Thomas Conlin, Warsaw Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra|
Camargo Guarnieri: Piano Concertos Nos. 1, 2 and 3
Listen to Samples
Sparkling NeoClassical Piano Concertos with Brazilian Tinge
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 04/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The name of composer Mozart Camargo Guarnieri was vaguely familiar to me only because I remembered that striking first name but I had never heard any of his music. He was born in São Paulo in 1907, one of nine children of music-loving Sicilian immigrants, and he had brothers named Bellini, Rossini and Verdi. After going by 'Mozart' most of his youth, he renounced the first name in early adulthood, apparently feeling it was presumptuous to be known by the name of such an indisputable genius, and from then on was known as 'Camargo Guarnieri.' He labored most of his life in the shadow of Heitor Villa-Lobos, but that didn't stop him from being a prolific composer. He was also an arts administrator and teacher, culminating in his appointment as director of the São Paulo conservatory. He wrote a public letter to all Brazilian musicians in 1950 that urged them to reject European academicism (atonality, serialism). He later rethought that, and indeed one of his piano concertos (not presented here) uses 12-tone methods. He wrote seven piano concertos and much solo piano music often played in Brazil but rarely anywhere else. On the basis of this disc I'd say that it deserves a wider audience. He was taken up by Leonard Bernstein as well as Aaron Copland, and indeed one of his symphonies, No. 4, is dedicated to Bernstein.
The three piano concertos on this disc (Nos. 1, 2 & 3) are of a piece. They are characterized by French-inspired tonality (he studied for a time in Paris with Charles Koechlin), Stravinskyan rhythmic inventiveness, jazzy, almost Gershwinian harmonies and, most striking, Brazilian dance and folk-song coloring. The outer movements have an irrepressible élan, the middle movements are bluesy and hauntingly melodic. Orchestrations is brilliant and expert and make use of many native Brazilian percussion instruments--e.g., the cuica (a friction drum), the chocalho (a rattle), and the reco-reco (a scraper); one has to wonder whether those instruments were easily available in Warsaw where these recordings were made!
The pianist, new to me, is Max Barros, himself a São Pauleño. He is clearly at home with the Brazilian idiom and is no mean performer. The playing is marked by crisp rhythmic thrust and clear passage work. In the middle movements he is capable of a songful legato. The Warsaw Philharmonic are veterans of recordings of music from around the world and they give the pianist able support; the conductor, Thomas Conlin, known to me primarily for his fine recordings of the music of George Crumb, is clearly in his element in this music. The recorded sound is clear and lifelike; it is slightly dry and this lends a clarity to the torrents of notes in the outer movements.
This is unfailingly tuneful, tonal, rhythmically exciting music and a worthy addition to Naxos' ongoing Latin American music series. One hopes we will hear more of Guarnieri's music from them.
Sprarkling, Full of life and intensity
P. Alvarez | Killeen, Texas United States | 07/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sparkling, full of life and intensity
is how I would describe these concertos
By Camargo Guarnieri.Guarnieri now one
of the best Latin-American composers
of the 20th century composed these
concetos beetween 1931 and 1963, the
Piano Concerto #1 is recorded here for
the first time. In the first Piano
concerto we hear a lot of Brazilian
percussion such as the cuica(Friction Drum)
and reco-reco(a scraper) use masterfully
especially in the final movement of
the first concerto. The Second Piano Concerto
is equally fun to listen to, and with a last
movement that opens with a tune that
one would expect to hear out the Rio
carnival. The last concerto #3, is
is also a great work. The soloist
Max Barros is wonderful, and so
are conductor Thomas Collin and
the Warsaw Philharmonic. Indeed
music full of life, emotion and
intensity. Five Stars!!!"
Guarnieri Piano Concertos
Tony Earl | Seattle, WA United States | 08/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Nice pieces for the piano, nicely played. Interesting mix of modern and almost romantic styles. I enjoyed them having only listened to them three times through, but anticipate gaining a deeper understanding of them after I've had a chance to live with them for a while longer."